Dubai has emerged as a global hub for business, tourism, and innovation. Dubai offers great opportunities for businessmen wanting to establish a long-term presence in Dubai. One such opportunity is the Dubai Residence Visa, a gateway to not only living in Dubai but also using its thriving economy, world-class infrastructure, and multicultural society.

Whether you are an entrepreneur, professional, or investor, the Dubai Residence Visa opens doors to a prosperous and fulfilling life in this extraordinary city.


Dubai Work Visa

This type of visa is issued to foreign individuals who have secured employment in the UAE and have obtained a Work Permit from the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE). It allows them to legally reside and work in the country for a specific period, typically tied to their employment contract.

Dubai Student Visa

Foreign nationals who have been accepted into a recognized educational institution in the UAE can apply for a Student Visa. They are able to study and live in the nation for the duration of their academic program with the help of this visa. Students must provide evidence of their enrollment and fulfill any other requirements imposed by the authorities.

Dubai Family Visa

An expat may sponsor members of their immediate family if they have obtained any sort of residency visa within the UAE. The person will be allowed to sponsor their spouse, kids, and parents in this situation. Investors who want to sponsor their family must pay AED 3,000 per family member as a refundable fee. Employees must earn at least AED 4,000 per month in order to sponsor their families. 

Dubai Investment Visa (long-term residence)

The UAE Investment Visa was introduced in 2019 to attract global investors and business owners. It offers anyone who makes sizeable investments in the UAE a long-term resident visa valid for up to ten years. The investment can be in the form of real estate, business setup, or a deposit in a UAE bank, subject to specific criteria and requirements.

Dubai Retirement Visa

Anyone living in the UAE over the age of 55 may apply for a retirement visa. It is granted to individuals who meet the age and financial criteria set by the authorities. Applicants must demonstrate the ability to support themselves financially during their retirement years and obtain health insurance coverage.

Work Remotely from the Dubai program

In response to the changing work landscape, Dubai has introduced a program that allows freelancers and remote workers from foreign countries to live and work in the city. This initiative permits eligible individuals to reside in Dubai while serving clients or employers from outside the UAE.


The applicant must fit into one of the following categories in order to be eligible for a UAE residence visa:

  • The applicant will work in Dubai for a public agency or a private business.
  • The applicant will be studying in Dubai.
  • They are dependent (child, parent, maid, or close family) of a UAE national or foreign resident.
  • The applicant has invested in the United Arab Emirates.
  • They have bought a property in Dubai.
  • The applicant will retire in Dubai.


  • The UAE Visa Application Form can be obtained either online or at a suitable typing center.
  • original passport
  • In accordance with the UAE visa photo criteria, two passport-size photos.
  • The entry visa
  • evidence of the sponsor’s citizenship or lawful residency in the UAE
  • evidence of passing the medical fitness test
  • Evidence of UAE health insurance
  • documents of family ties for family visas, such as birth and marriage certificates.
  • The sponsor must submit the work contract, copies of the business’s current trade license, and its current firm card when applying for a work visa.


Refer to Dubai company incorporation to know more about the process of incorporating a business in Dubai. After the company incorporation, the applicant must follow the following steps to apply for a residency visa:

  • Entry Permit Application – The sponsor (individual or company) must apply for an Entry Permit on your behalf. This can be done through the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA) eChanel portal, the ICA’s mobile apps for Apple and Android, or the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) in the relevant emirate. They can apply online or in-person at licensed typing centers or Amer centers.
  • Entry into the UAE – Once the Entry Permit is approved, the applicant can enter the UAE using the visa issued to them. It is advisable to enter the country within the validity period mentioned in the visa.
  • Medical Fitness Test – After entering the UAE, they will need to undergo a medical fitness test. Visit an authorized medical center or clinic to complete the necessary medical examination, including blood tests and a chest X-ray.
  • Residence Visa Application – The sponsor will submit the Residence Visa application to the GDRFA of the emirate where they will reside. This application includes necessary documents such as the applicant’s passport, Entry Permit, medical fitness test results, and any additional requirements specified by the GDRFA.
  • Visa Fee Payment – The sponsor will need to pay the applicable UAE Residence Visa fee at the time of application. The fee amount depends on the validity of the visa.
  • Visa Approval and Stamping – Once the Residence Visa application is approved, the GDRFA will affix the Residence Visa on the passport. This indicates the legal status as a resident of the UAE. The visa validity typically ranges from one to three years, depending on the type and category of visa. The applicant will receive an Emirates ID that is valid for the same amount of time as the visa.


Depending on how long the visa is valid, different fees apply for UAE residency. The annual fee for a UAE residence visa is AED 100.

The applicant will also be required to pay a processing fee, which varies depending on how they apply and can be as much as AED40 for online applications or AED70 for in-person ones.

There may be changes to the visa fees as well as additional costs for medical testing and health insurance.


Within 30 days before its expiration, the sponsor must renew the residence visa.

However, if it is still within the UAE residence visa expiry grace period, the sponsor may also renew the visa after it has expired.

Similar to when the applicant first received the visa, the sponsor must submit an application to the relevant emirate’s general directorate of residency and foreign affairs.

The UAE government grants foreigners a 30-day grace period beginning with the date their visa expires. Accordingly, even if the visa has expired, they are still permitted to stay in the country for an extra 30 days. However, if the visa has not been renewed by then, they will need to leave the nation and re-enter with an entry permit.

The applicant will be penalized for each day they stay longer than permitted.

The following fees apply if the UAE residence visa is overstayed:

  • AED 25 per day for the first six months (180 days).
  • AED 50 per day for the next six months (180 days).
  • After a year, AED 100 is charged for each additional day.
Dubai Entry Permit Dubai Residence Visa
Purpose Allows entry into Dubai for a specific purpose (e.g., work, study) Grants legal residence in Dubai for a specific duration
Duration Typically valid for a short period (e.g., 30 days, 90 days) can vary depending on the type of visa from one to three years
Application Process Applied for by the sponsor (individual or company) on behalf of the applicant Applied for by the sponsor after the applicant has entered Dubai
Medical Fitness Test Generally not required for an Entry Permit Mandatory to undergo a medical fitness test before obtaining a Residence Visa
Biometric Data Biometric data (fingerprint and photograph) may be collected upon entry into Dubai Biometric data is typically collected during the Residence Visa application process
Emirates ID Not applicable for an Entry Permit An Emirates ID card is issued along with the Residence Visa
Legal Residence Does not confer legal residence in Dubai Provides legal residence status in Dubai
Visa Stamping No visa sticker is stamped on the passport for an Entry Permit A Residence Visa sticker is affixed to the passport
Sponsorship Responsibility The sponsor is responsible for the applicant's stay and compliance with visa regulations during the permitted period The sponsor continues to be responsible for the applicant's legal stay and may have additional responsibilities as per the visa category


  • UAE Driving License Eligibility – An international person is able to change their current driver’s license into an official UAE driver’s license with the help of the UAE residency visa.
  • Services and Health Insurance in the UAE – Even though it is optional in some Emirates zones, health insurance is required in the UAE. An international person with a resident visa is able to use health services provided by the UAE government with a health card at a reasonable fee.
  • Utilize financial resources – As a resident, the applicant will have access to financial services including applying for a mortgage, personal loan, or car loan, in addition to conveniently opening a bank account. 
  • Opening a bank account – The applicant’s Emirates ID is one of the essential documents needed by banks in the UAE for opening a savings or current account. If they live in the UAE, they can open an account quite easily as long as they meet the bank’s standards for minimum wage and other requirements.

Reach out to us Relin Consultants for further assistance with your Dubai Residence Visa.


Who can sponsor a Dubai Residence Visa?

A Dubai Residence Visa can be sponsored by a UAE citizen, a UAE resident with a valid residency visa, or a company based in Dubai.

Can I apply for a Dubai Residence Visa without a job offer?

Yes, you can apply for a Dubai Residence Visa without a job offer by establishing your own company in Dubai or through other visa categories such as investment or retirement visas.

How long does it take to obtain a Dubai Residence Visa?

The processing time for a Dubai Residence Visa can vary depending on the type of visa, the completeness of the application, and the immigration authorities’ workload. It typically takes a few weeks to a couple of months to complete the process.

Can I work for any company with a Dubai Residence Visa?

If you have a Dubai Residence Visa sponsored by a specific company, you are allowed to work only for that particular employer. If you wish to change your employment, you would need to obtain a new visa sponsored by the new employer.

Can I bring my family members to Dubai on my Residence Visa?

Yes, you can sponsor your immediate family members (spouse and children) for a Residence Visa in Dubai, as long as you meet the eligibility criteria and provide the required documentation.

Is a medical fitness test mandatory for a Dubai Residence Visa?

Yes, a medical fitness test is often necessary as part of the application procedure for a residence visa. The examination verifies that applicants are healthy enough to live in Dubai and free of any contagious diseases.

Can I travel outside the UAE with a Dubai Residence Visa?

If you have a current Dubai Residence Visa, you have the right to leave the UAE. But depending on the type of visa and the particular criteria of the immigration authorities, there can be restrictions.

Can I convert my Dubai Visit Visa to a Residence Visa?

Most of the time, visit visas cannot be changed into residence visas directly. If you wish to apply for a residence visa from outside the United Arab Emirates, you would typically need to leave the country and follow the correct procedures.

How long is a Dubai Residence Visa valid for?

The kind of visa and its sponsoring entity determine how long a Dubai residence visa is valid.

Can I cancel my Dubai Residence Visa?

If you decide to leave the UAE, you can cancel your Dubai residence visa. A request for cancellation of a visa must be made to the immigration authorities.


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